Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Synopsis: Two faiths, two empires, two rulers - colliding in 1588. Papist Spain wants to bring down the heretic Elizabeth. Philip is building an armada but needs a rationale to attack. With covert intrigue, Spain sets a trap for the Queen and her principal secretary, Walsingham, using as a pawn Elizabeth's cousin Mary Stuart, who's under house arrest in the North. The trap springs, and the armada sets sail, to rendezvous with French ground forces and to attack. During these months, the Virgin Queen falls in love with Walter Raleigh, keeping him close to court and away from the sea and America. Is treachery or heroism at his heart? Does loneliness await her passionate majesty?
Director(s): Shekhar Kapur
Production: Universal Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 29 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Why do you go

among the people, Majesty?

I tell you plainly,

you will be murdered.

Every Catholic in England

is a potential assassin!

Be warned

by the atrocities in France.

We know the Catholics take

their orders from Spain.

The Spanish speak

openly of Mary Stuart

as Queen of England

in waiting.

Their loyalty is to

the Pope in Rome!

How many Catholics

are there in England, sir?

Immense numbers,


Half the nation cling

to the old superstitions.

What would you have me do?

Hang half the people of

England or just imprison them?

We must act, Majesty.

Our inaction is perceived as weakness.

If my people break the law,

they shall be punished.

Until that day,

they shall be protected.

Majesty, we have proven reason

to fear every Catholic in the...

Fear creates fear.

I am not ignorant

of the dangers, sir.

But I will not punish my

people for their beliefs.

Only for their deeds.

I am assured that the people

of England love their Queen.

My constant endeavor

is to earn that love.

My Queen.

Our friends write

to give us hope.

Soon England's

true believers will rise up

against the bastard

usurper Elizabeth

and slit her throat.

That's enough!

Slit her throat? Please.

And when that bastard usurper

is dead, my lady will be queen.

Your bishops are preaching that

God is showing his displeasure

because the Queen

is still unmarried,

some rudely

suggesting infertile.

What nonsense.

Dangerous nonsense.

Mary Stuart has a son.

Why does everyone

torment me with Mary Stuart?

It's not her fault she's

next in line to the throne.

Don't hide your face.

So long as you

have no issue.

If you were

to produce an heir,

there'd be no more talk

of Mary, Queen of Scots.

I've heard it's customary to obtain

a husband before producing an heir.

We shall have to hunt out a

husband for you soon, Bess.

Not too soon,

my lady.

There are husbands

to be had.

You don't want

to be married?

I'll want to be married

if I want the man...

Austria. France.

Turkey. Turkey has a sultan.

China has an emperor.

I confine myself

to the possible.

That's where you and I

differ, Walsingham.

I find the impossible

far more interesting.

What kind of man

would you want?

An honest man

with friendly eyes.

And good legs.

And sweet breath.

So you can kiss him

without choking.

There must be

any amount of princes

in the undiscovered lands

across the sea.

Find me an honest one

of those.

Since when do we discuss

private matters in public spaces?

I ask Your Majesty's


Have my doctors confirm that

the Queen is still fertile.

The people need

to be reassured.

I care

for your safety.

The threats to your

person are real.

You know very well

if I fall,

you'll all come

tumbling down after me.

The sea wall at Dover

is cracking, Francis.

We have no money

to rebuild our defenses.

Turn your mind

to that threat.

May we have wisdom not to

fear shadows in the night.

And courage when the day

of danger truly dawns.

My time has come,


Send me back to England

to begin God's work.

Your Majesty.


Take hold of him!

A puddle in the way,


A puddle.


You'll have to see

the Lord Chamberlain, sir.

Which one is he?

He's over there.

You can't come in.

So how am I to see him

if you won't let me through?

You must wait for him

to come out.

And when will he

come out?

There's no way

of knowing that.

I had less trouble than

this boarding a Spanish ship.

What if enemy ships should sail up

the Thames, can the docks be closed?

Not closed, Majesty.

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William Nicholson

William Benedict Nicholson, OBE, FRSL is a British screenwriter, playwright, and novelist who has been nominated twice for an Oscar. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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